Dr. Johanna Kaplan Founder and Director of the Washington Anxiety Center of Capitol Hill
Dr. Johanna Kaplan is the Founder and Director of the Washington Anxiety Center of Capitol Hill. She is a licensed child and adult clinical psychologist in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia. She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from The Catholic University of America and her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Communications from American University in Washington, D.C.
Prior to opening the Washington Anxiety Center, she worked for four years at the Center for Anxiety and Behavior Change in Rockville MD. She also completed 18 months of post-doctoral training at the Institute of Living/Hartford Hospital at the Anxiety Disorders Center/Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy under the direct supervision of David Tolin, Ph.D.
Additionally, she completed a 2-year post-baccalaureate fellowship and a 6-year pre-doctoral fellowship in the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program at the National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Kaplan has received extensive clinical and clinical-research training in anxiety, mood, and obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders and has completed clinical and research work in private practice, community, counseling center, and hospital-based settings.
Together, she has over 60 presentations/publications in the domain of clinical anxiety in adult, adolescent, and child populations. She has been interviewed for several articles in Parent magazine, parent.com, Romper.com, klicknews.com, the Hillrag.com, and has been interviewed by several local television media outlets. She continues to actively pursue her education in evidence-based treatments for anxiety in these populations.
Dr. Kristin Kunkle Director of Clinical Training at the Washington Anxiety Center of Capitol Hill Dr. Kristin Kunkle is a licensed child and adult clinical psychologist in Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia, and New York. Dr. Kunkle also serves as an Adjunct Instructor for graduate-level psychology students at Catholic University of America.
Dr. Kunkle earned her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology at Long Island University - Post Campus, and her B.S. in Psychology from West Virginia University. She completed a predoctoral internship at Rutgers University Behavioral Healthcare. After graduation, she also completed a clinical postdoctoral fellowship at the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders (CUCARD), where she specialized in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for children, adolescents, and adults with anxiety disorders.
Prior to joining the Washington Anxiety Center of Capitol Hill, she worked for three years as a clinical psychologist and instructor of medical psychology at CUCARD and Columbia University Medical Center. Her specific clinical expertise includes separation anxiety, specific phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, parent training, behavior management, and post-traumatic stress disorder. She has experience using interventions such as Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Behavioral Activation, Motivational Interviewing (MI), Parent Management Training (PMT), Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT). Dr. Kunkle provides treatment in a variety of different modalities, including individual, group, and intensive psychotherapy, as well as family coaching approaches and school consultations.
“When working with clients, I strive to be an empathetic source of support while also encouraging clients to make steps toward values-based goals in their lives. My goal is to not only be a voice of encouragement, but to help clients strengthen their own voices and eventually become their own coach when overcoming a challenge. I take a collaborative, goal-based approach, teach skills for coping with difficult emotions, and engage in active practices in session to help prepare clients for coping in their daily lives.”
Dr. Sahar Esfahani Director of Adult Clinical Services at the Washington Anxiety Center of Capitol Hill Dr. Sahar Esfahani is a licensed clinical psychologist in Washington, DC, and Illinois. She completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Palo Alto University (Pacific Graduate School of Psychology) in Palo Alto, CA.
Prior to joining the Washington Anxiety Center of Capitol Hill, Dr. Esfahani worked for two years at the Chicago Cognitive Behavioral Treatment Center where she provided evidence-based treatment to children, adolescents and adults for a range of anxiety, mood, and obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders including obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, specific phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), body-focused repetitive behaviors, depression, and various addictive disorders.
She completed her post-doctoral fellowship at the San Francisco VA Medical Center/ University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) with an emphasis in Co-occurring Substance Use Disorders and PTSD, and her pre-doctoral internship at Northern California VA Medical Center with rotations in: Behavioral Medicine/Pain Management, PTSD, Substance Use Disorders, and Department of Defense (DoD) Active Duty Inpatient Unit at Travis Air Force Base. Alongside these experiences she trained at an outpatient community-based trauma clinic providing early intervention treatments under the supervision of Drs. Josef Ruzek and Matthew Cordova, at the Early Intervention Clinic based in Menlo Park, CA.
Dr. Esfahani is well-versed in various evidence-based treatments including: Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), Habit Reversal Training (HRT), Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Behavioral Activation, Motivational Interviewing (MI), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Prolonged Exposure (PE), and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I).
Dr. Esfahani is a member of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), American Psychological Association (APA), and the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS).
“I feel privileged in my role to guide clients through a journey toward improving their lives. My therapeutic style is compassionate, active and nonjudgmental. I strive to meet clients where they are and help them navigate toward where they want to be based on their goals and values. I am constantly in awe of the work that I do and with the resilience of clients I work with.”
Dr. Rachel LaFleur Staff Clinical Psychologist at the Washington Anxiety Center of Capitol Hill
Dr. Rachel LaFleur is a licensed psychologist in the District of Columbia and Maryland. She earned her M.Ed., Ed.S., and Ph.D. in School Psychology from Georgia State University, and her B.A. in Psychology from Binghamton University.
Prior to joining the Washington Anxiety Center of Capitol Hill, Dr. LaFleur completed a predoctoral internship at Boys Town’s Center for Behavioral Health via the Nebraska Internship Consortium in Professional Psychology. At Boys Town, Dr. LaFleur received specialized training to treat adolescents. After graduation, she completed a clinical postdoctoral fellowship at the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Behavior Management Clinic via the John Hopkins University School of Medicine. At the Kennedy Krieger Institute, she received specialized training to treat children and provided outpatient psychotherapy services. Dr. LaFleur also has specialization in providing treatment to adult populations managing stress, anxiety, relationship challenges, and life transitions.
Dr. LaFleur has expertise treating anxiety (i.e., separation anxiety, performance anxiety, specific phobias, and generalized anxiety), mood (i.e., depression, emotion dysregulation, and low frustration tolerance), disruptive behavior (i.e., interruptions, tantrums/outbursts, verbal and physical aggression, and non-compliance), as well as common preschool and school-aged concerns, including difficulties related to homework completion, sleep, eating, toileting, and school.
She has experience providing a wide range of behavioral and cognitive behavioral interventions, including Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Behavioral Activation, Parent Management Training (PMT), Habit Reversal Training (HRT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), and Functional Family Therapy (FFT). Dr. LaFleur is also a certified Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) therapist. PCIT is a well-researched and highly effective treatment for children ages 2-7 with behavioral and anxiety challenges. Dr. LaFleur draws from her background in school psychology to provide school consultation and commonly uses live coaching methods to provide families with the practice they need to move through treatment efficiently and effectively.
“I believe that a prerequisite to treatment is a warm, collaborative relationship. Approaching care with integrity and without judgment, earning your trust, and honoring your goals and expertise matter to me. I use cutting-edge, evidence-based treatments to help patients and families to get unstuck and find meaningful and measurable change. I'll share my skills with you and you'll make them your own. When you complete treatment, you'll understand why it worked and be prepared to apply your skills to challenges that may arise in the future.”
Dr. Alyssa Adams Staff Clinical Psychologist at the Washington Anxiety Center of Capitol Hill
Dr. Adams is a licensed clinical psychologist in Washington, DC and Virginia. She earned her M.A. and Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from Marywood University in Scranton, PA and B.S. in Psychology from the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Adams completed an APA-approved pre-doctoral internship at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, DC (DCVA), where she dually specialized in health psychology and neuropsychology. Following internship, she completed a two-year, post-doctoral fellowship in research and clinical neuropsychology at the War Related Illness and Injury Study Center (WRIISC) at the DCVA.
Prior to joining the Washington Anxiety Center of Capitol Hill,Dr. Adams worked as a clinical and health psychologist in the Pain Clinic at the DCVA and at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, DC. In addition, Dr. Adams directed the first stand-alone integrative health clinic in the Veterans Affairs system, where she managed an outpatient department that provided integrative medicine approaches to chronic health issues. Most recently, Dr. Adams served as the operations manager for the national adaptive sports medicine program in the VA.
Dr. Adams has expertise in treating anxiety, such as performance anxiety, specific phobias, panic disorder, generalized anxiety, public speaking anxiety, and health-related anxiety. She also has expertise in treating depression, managing work stress, and coping with chronic medical conditions. She has experience providing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), CBT for pain management, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), mindfulness approaches, such as Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Behavioral Activation, and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). Her research interests include the impact of chronic medical issues on mood, nutrition for mental health, and anxiety in families with severe food allergies.
She works with both adolescents and adult populations.
“I believe transformation is fueled by a collaborative partnership between the client and therapist. I foster an environment that is supportive, compassionate, and non-judgmental. I work to support you in attaining your goals for therapy as well as creating a life where you are thriving.”
Dr. Catalina Perez Staff Clinical Psychologist at the Washington Anxiety Center of Capitol Hill
Dr. Catalina Perez is a licensed clinical child psychologist in Washington, D.C. She is a fully-bilingual provider and offers services in English and Spanish. Dr. Perez obtained her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at The Catholic University of America, with a concentration in Children, Families, and Cultures. While in graduate school, she trained at the Child Development Program, Pain Medicine Clinic, and the Division of Neuropsychology at Children’s National Main Hospital. She also received specialized training in trauma and provided Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy at a Child Advocacy Center in Maryland.
Dr. Perez completed a pre-doctoral clinical psychology internship in Chicago at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, affiliated with Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. During her internship year, Dr. Perez offered outpatient therapy services through the Mood and Anxiety Program, the Right Start Clinic (early childhood), the Trauma Clinic, and worked with youth with chronic medical conditions. She co-facilitated a child anxiety therapy group and a parent group for young children with disruptive behavior. Dr. Perez also conducted risk-assessments and provided intensive care to high-risk patients.
Upon graduation, Dr. Perez returned to Children’s National Main Hospital and completed a post-doctorate fellowship in Pediatric Primary Care where she provided consultation and therapy to patients ages 0 to 22, and closely collaborated with pediatricians. She has stayed on as a part-time staff psychologist. During her fellowship year, Dr. Perez worked with patients presenting with ADHD, disruptive behavior, anxiety, depression, trauma, suicidal ideation, self-injurious behavior, sleep difficulties, picky eating, toileting problems, learning and developmental delays, chronic pain, and issues related to medical adjustment and adherence. She also provided services to adolescent mothers with perinatal and postpartum anxiety and depression.
Overall, Dr. Perez has a wide range of experience working with children, adolescents and their families. She employs evidence-based cognitive and behavioral interventions, including Behavioral Activation, Exposure and Response Prevention, and Parent Management Training. She is a firm advocate of early and preventative intervention and enjoys collaborating with local and international providers to expand access to behavior health services.
“I am a strong believer in family-centered care; caregivers are one of the most important agents of change for children. I strive to acknowledge, understand and respect your family’s cultural beliefs and values, so that together, we may agree on the best interventions that will set your child up for success and align with your family’s practices. I truly hope that through the therapeutic process, you and your child will find greater calmness, balance, meaning, and fulfillment in your daily life.”
To contact Dr. Perez, please call her at please call her at (202) 768-6494